4 Best Road Trip Destinations Close to Raleigh
Whether you’re a resident or visitor to Raleigh, North Carolina, you can check out some amazing places just a short drive from this urban area. If you want to see a beach, the mountains, or a hip city center, all you have to do is fill up the tank and hop in your car. Take a look at the four best road trip destinations within a five hour drive or less of Raleigh.
1. Dig Your Toes in the Sand at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
From oceanfront dining to high-caliber shows, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers plenty to see and do. Of course, the biggest draw is the wide beach, which is known as the Grand Strand. Families enjoy miniature golf, ziplines, and the boardwalk area with the Sky Wheel, an enormous Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the coast. Given that Myrtle Beach is a three-hour drive each way, you may want to pack an overnight bag and spend a night or two to get the full benefit of this coastal gem.
2. Be a Hipster in Downtown Asheville
Travel just under four hours to the quirky mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. If you like to people watch, just stroll the streets of the downtown area where you’re likely to find political placards, performance artists, and lively musicians. Local eateries serve up Thai, Ethiopian, pub food, and farm-to-table dishes from the region. No trip to Asheville is complete without taking time for a liquid truffle or slice of Highland Mocha Stout Cake at French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
If you enjoy shopping, stop in one of the many art galleries and take home a piece by a local artist. Another favorite store is Mast General, which offers souvenirs, old-time candy, and other oddities.
3. Hike in Great Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina
It’s a bit of hike to get to this hiking destination, but it’s worth the effort. After nearly five hours in the car, you can breathe the fresh mountain air as you explore Great Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina. Boasting historic buildings, waterfalls, and rambling creeks, this park is an ideal spot for a family outing or a solo expedition into nature. In particular, the fall colors in the park earn rave reviews from visitors.
Once you’re at the park, you can hike, fish, ride your bike, go horseback riding, or camp. This park is an ideal spot to enjoy the serenity of nature. You may even see some wildlife such as deer, elk, wild turkey, woodchucks, and other critters.
4. Savor a Relaxed Pace at Lake Gaston, North Carolina
Enjoy being on or near the water at Lake Gaston, North Carolina. It’s an ideal spot for fishing, boating, water skiing, and camping. If you get tired of lake activities, there are golf courses, movie theaters, and other diversions nearby.
All of these locations host a variety of entertainment and social events throughout the year. So, you might want to plan your road trip so that you can enjoy these local activities.